Project management definitely has application to nursing practice in general but even more for those involved as advanced practice nurses. Sipes (2016) mentions within her writing, project management may be fairly new to some advanced practice nurses but management success requires it. Interestingly, she also describes how the process of a project manager and the process of nursing are very similar, however, the manager oversees a project rather than a patient (Sipes, 2016). Additionally, she describes the best way to accomplish project management is by using consistent organized processes to meet goals, which is also very similar to how the process of nursing approaches care for patients! The ability to manage projects is especially important for the advanced practice nurse because they are expected to lead nursing into the future and it will take development of many projects to conclude needs for the future therefore it’s pretty imperative and applicable that the advanced practice nurse have skills related to managing projects! IOM, ARRA and HITECH all support and/or mandate the increase of efficiency through the development and meaningful use of technology, however, doing so is a very complex mission that requires efficient management for success. Humbles, McNeal and Paul-Richiez (2017) view this as an opportunity to evolve students from providing care to managing care by creating opportunity for intercollaboration between disciplines which, to me, introduces project management early for students. The idea is to come together for a project where collectively identified needs are deficient by collaboratively understanding these needs, collectively developing a plan, implementing and evaluating its effect. If you think about it, we are now taking several disciplines and working together to efficiently solve issues, this cannot be done without an overall project manager who communicates and oversees the entire project, it’s just too large to do without. This is where managing these projects becomes obvious and necessary for the advanced practice nurse. Each community and/or organization will have its own issues, its own projects and its own need for managers to oversee these projects to successfully produce new information.
The Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) takes on many roles and responsibilities. Many of these responsibilities are additional to the basic nursing care that is provided to patients. Nurses use the nursing process to provide proper care. Four components of the nursing process used by nursing informatics specialists are assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation (Sengstack, 2012). Project management and the use of the nursing process are used by nursing informatics specialists to benefit both the clinician and the patient. Sengstack (2012) discusses the importance of a team of people to design healthcare informatics systems. Vendors who focus on infrastructure along with advanced practice nurses (APNs), which specialize in informatics, help create a user friendly and robust informatics system for the end user (Sengstack, 2012). The end user is very often the clinical nurse which uses the products on a daily basis when providing patient care. APN’s specializing in informatics take on project management responsibilities and can function as an important mediator between the informatics team and the healthcare team. APN’s in informatics have a vast pool of knowledge on their specialty topic, informatics, and the nursing process. Therefore, APN’s in informatics are great resources to bridge communication between the analytics, programming and clinical departments.
Project management concepts affect my practice as I am the end user of the project outcomes. As a registered nurse working in education I, unfortunately, have not had the opportunity to physically participate in project management frequently. I am, however, an end user of these products. I have experienced times where we as a company had to transition to a new electronic medical records (EMR’s). Although the system was built based on projects, when the date came to go live, teams of nursing informatics specialists were available. Their responsibility was to actively look for areas of opportunities, areas of success and hear the concerns of the floor registered nurses in order to improve and individualize the project. Therefore, I may not be an APN that’s specialized in informatics nor actively involved in project management, however, as the end user my opinion should and could be valued to continually improve efforts of said project.